Wainwright, Hernandez named all-star pitchers
St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Adam Wainwright and Seattle Mariners ace Felix Hernandez were named Monday as the starting pitchers for Tuesday's 85th Major League Baseball all-star game.
American League manager John Farrell of Boston and National League skipper Mike Matheny of St. Louis revealed the choices and their batting lineups, with each pitcher making his first all-star start.
Matheny picked his own player over Los Angeles Dodgers standout Clayton Kershaw, who leads the major leagues with a 1.78 earned-run average, pitched a no-hitter last month and enjoyed a run of 41 consecutive scoreless innings.
But Wainwright has his own solid case, sharing the National League lead with 12 wins in 19 starts and with an earned-run average of 1.83 that ranks second only to Kershaw.
Wainwright also leads the NL with 138 innings pitched and three complete games.
"It's something every starter dreams to do," Wainwright said of making an all-star start.
The 32-year-old American becomes the first St. Louis pitcher to start an all-star game since 2005, when then-Cardinals manager Tony La Russa picked Chris Carpenter.
Hernandez, a 28-year-old righthander, becomes the first Venezuelan pitcher to start the all-star game.
"It's an honor," Hernandez said. "To be the first Venezuelan guy is something special."
"King Felix" won the 2010 American League Cy Young Award as top pitcher and led the league that season in earned-run average.
Hernandez, 11-2 with a 2.12 earned-run average and 154 strikeouts in 144 1/3 innings, becomes the first Mariners pitcher to start an all-star game since Randy Johnson in 1997.
The most likely competitor for the coveted spot for Hernandez was New York Yankees star Masahiro Tanaka but the Japanese right-hander has been sidelined with a torn right elbow ligament.
Reigning National League Most Valuable Player Andrew McCutchen, a Pittsburgh outfielder, will lead off with Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig and Colorado shortstop Troy Tulowitzki following in the lineup.
Arizona first baseman Paul Goldschmidt will bat fourth followed by Miami designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton, Milwaukee third baseman Aramis Ramirez, Philadelphia second baseman Chase Utley, Milwaukee catcher Jonathan Lucroy and Milwaukee outfielder Carlos Gomez.
New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter will bat first for the American League in his final all-star appearance, the 40-year-old star having announced in February he would retire after this season.
Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout, Seattle second baseman Robinson Cano and Detroit first baseman Miguel Cabrera will follow.
Toronto outfielder Jose Bautista bats fifth, followed in order by Baltimore designated hitter Nelson Cruz, Baltimore outfielder Adam Jones, Oakland third baseman Josh Donaldson and Kansas City catcher Salvador Perez.
Whichever squad wins the contest will secure the home-field edge for that league's champion club in the World Series best-of-seven championship final in October.
The American League won 3-0 last year to snap a three-game win streak for the National League, which leads the all-time rivalry 43-39 with two drawn.